Culture Matters, Very Much So

Most PRecious Blood

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As I listen to  anglican hymns and am moved, and even as I watch the images of Mass and procession of the San Gennaro feast, and at the same time come across stories on FB about young academia tweeting about dead cops and so much other crap, I realize why the faith and culture of my ancestors matters, why the Italian-American, Christian faith matters.

It matters because it has taught me respect for family, God, and Country.  Does that mean that I don’t have my arguments with God, tweet my very sometimes undiplomatic thoughts to church hierarchy including the Pope, or politicos? No, of course I do.  Does that mean I suffer fools, wither liberal progressive or fanatic conservative evangelical? No, let them have it to, not diplomatic about it either, no sugar coating there.  However, whatever faults any individual might have within the family, faith institution or government, I still respect the unit and institution of family, faith and country, federalist, constitutional etc…system  of my country to the best of my ability, expect others to as well.  There is a core identity of which I spoke in a previous post, core beliefs that can never be taken from me, including gifts of the Holy Spirit and each of us has different ones.  They are the core of who I am and I also have a clear sense of honor for the Hebraic roots of the faith of my ancestors, for Israel, and my Italian heritage.  Am I fanatic about any of it, will I stand in front of let’s say an abortion clinic with kids along with me, graphic pictures, yelling screaming in women’s faces words like murderer, NO.  Do I think disciplinary action has to be taken against any military chaplain or persons who says that tolerance of atheism, or Islam or Christianity, any faith in the military is prohibited, makes anyone feel scared to pray, or not to pray anything like that? Yes.  Jesus whose face was on the coin and then said to render on to Caesar his due.  If the government violates strict Constitutional rights, that is different, not okay or overtaxes stuff that is egregious.   Then the people have a right to react as peacefully as possible.  The problem with today’s society is that there is not anchor, nothing to anchor in identity, respect, in boundaries, in anything.  That is very dangerous, as is an identity that is so rigid, there is no room for anyone to have any identity other than the one you say they ought to have and only your way or the highway as is the case with ISIS.  Standards, particular standards, boundaries, clear identity of faith and culture matter, bring a sense of self I realize, and that sense of self is important, even if people within the group can sometimes frustrate the heck out of you.  Still, it matters, matters very much.

Amen